The top-rated sitcom from the 1970s was "All in the Family," according to the Internet Movie Database. It starred Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, a working class family man with bigoted views. Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner also starred as Archie's wife, daughter and son-in-law, respectively.
A sitcom, or situation comedy, is a genre of comedy featuring characters in a home, workplace or other common environment. The format originated in the 1920s on radio with popular shows such as "Amos 'n' Andy" and "The Jack Benny Program."
Most American television sitcoms run 20-30 minutes in length and are sometimes taped or filmed in a studio with a live audience providing laughter, rather than a recorded laugh track.
"M*A*S*H" was a popular show from the era that used a laugh track in some scenes, even though the producers did not want it. "M*A*S*H" lasted 11 seasons and 251 episodes, which makes it one of the longest running shows in history.
Some of the more popular 1970s sitcoms also inspired popular spin-off shows. "The Jeffersons," "Maude" and "Good Times" were all popular spin-offs from "All in the Family." Two spin-offs from "Mary Tyler Moore" were "Rhoda" and "Phyllis." "Happy Days" inspired the later shows "Laverne and Shirley" and "Mork and Mindy."